You can see NOM from Poland: A note from Dustin Lance Black

July 18, 2010 at 10:25 am 17 comments

By Rick Jacobs, Chair, Courage Campaign Institute

Danny, Robert, Eden and the team are tracking NOM and saluting the brilliant local organizations who have shown how out of touch NOM is with America. This tour has brought out the best of our movement’s state and local organizations. The effort to highlight the real America, the America that celebrates loving couples and family, is seen not only here, but around the world.

Dustin Lance Black, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of MILK, is one of the honorees of Europride and Pride in Warsaw. Take a minute to read what he wrote. We’ll hope to get more updates from him during the week, but as you can see, what we do here matters everywhere.

Hi Rick!

Just got to the internet for the first time. So I’m sad to report there’s been no blogging from Warsaw’s Europride. The best I’ve been able to do is update my facebook status and put up a few camera phone pictures.

It has been an amazing week though. From participating on a panel re: the political correctness of homo-biographies (what they call outing historical figures here in Poland) to giving a gay rights lecture at a mostly straight screenwriter’s conference in Warsaw, the questions from the audience glow with a desire for rapid change, increased diversity, and an equality revolution.

Today’s Warsaw Pride Parade was the icing on the cake. The protesters were numerous and incredibly violent. I’ve never experienced anything like it. The worst was when a mob threw two large, homemade percussion style bombs over the police line and onto our float. When the second exploded, pieces of it struck both Frank and I and left me deaf in one ear for about an hour (Note from Rick: Frank is Lance’s wonderful boyfriend).

Of course there were also eggs thrown and lots of Polish folks giving us the finger, but I gotta say, the amazing part was that the police seemed to be on the side of the pride parade participants. In fact, when the bomb went off, a huge group of police charged into the anti-gay protesters and started restraining/beating THEM. Only a few years ago, that table would have been turned.

All in all, it’s been one of the most meaningful LGBT rights days of my life… likely the closest I’ll ever come to understanding just how brave Harvey Milk was to have started marching back in the early 70’s.

Hats off to all the brave LGBT activists in Poland who organized this day.

And I must say, it seems clearer than ever now that it’s our responsibility in the U.S. to continue winning our own equality in order to further inspire these brave activists here in Eastern Europe (and beyond). We must make it crystal clear that their courage and determination can and WILL bear the fruit of freedom.

Much love to you and Courage!

Keep up the fight. Eastern Europe is watching.


Entry filed under: Community/Meta, NOM Tour Tracker. Tags: , .

“Do you see my love, NOM?” A beautiful Gathering Storm rains on NOM’s parade in New York “This land was made for you and me”: More on the Albany NOM rally and counter-protest

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 18, 2010 at 10:37 am


    • 2. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 18, 2010 at 11:12 am

      “[T]he police seemed to be on the side of the pride parade participants. In fact, when the bomb went off, a huge group of police charged into the anti-gay protesters and started restraining/beating THEM. Only a few years ago, that table would have been turned.”
      “Keep up the fight. Eastern Europe is watching.”
      Dustin Lance Black

      I live in Eastern Europe myself (Russia… don’t look at me like that, it’s still Eastern Europe, at least I live in the European part of Russia), and our parades are nothing like that…  Actually, we don’t really have parades per se because the government won’t allow us to have them in the first place, so they arrest everyone they can find who attempts to march nonetheless.  The police does not protect US from HATERS, they protect HATERS from US instead, even though we do not attack anyone.  Welcome to Russia (if you’re not gay, that is).

      • 3. couragecampaign  |  July 18, 2010 at 11:49 am

        I have lived in Russia for long periods of time, especially in the 1990s. I know of what Kiril speaks. We have no clue how fortunate we are here in the US and how much it matters that we have full equality. When Mayor Luzhkov of Moscow calls gays and lesbians degenerates and then arrests our brothers and sisters for appearing on the streets, he can point to the US and say, “they are second class citizens there, too.” That’s why the NOM tour matters, why what Lance Black is doing matters and why we have to support Kiril and so many others.

        Rick Jaocbs.

      • 4. Kathleen  |  July 18, 2010 at 12:02 pm

        I dream of the day when we have achieved full equality in the world. In the meantime, my heart goes out to all my glbt brothers and sisters every time one of them encounters hatred, persecution or violence.

        (and you know I love you, Kirille. ♥ ♥ ♥)

      • 5. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  July 18, 2010 at 12:50 pm

        @Rick Jacobs
        Wow, thank you!
        I feel the support, it’s very important for me!  And that’s why I came and stayed here in the first place — the support of the wonderful community of trial trackers here, and also the realization that the change won’t come to Russia soon enough, but it will come to the United States, and the more countries of the world embrace marriage equality for gay and lesbian people, the better our chances in Russia.  Little did I know I would meet my love here, on this very blog, so I am grateful for that, too!

        That’s a wonderful dream!
        I love you, too, and I hope to hear your voice on AIM at some point :)

  • 6. Ronnie  |  July 18, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Thank you Rick for sharing this with us. & thank you Dustin for sharing your experiences over in Europe with us. I am happy to hear that you & your boyfriend were not seriously hurt in that attack but still sad to hear that you were hurt in general. Bombs really? REALLY?…would Jesus throw bombs?…No he wouldn’t…those against Equality & Freedom are full of it….But you did not let it stop you. You are a Hero & Harvey Milk would be extremely proud of you.

    I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we are honored to be apart of the same community as you.


    • 7. Bob  |  July 18, 2010 at 11:10 am

      Yes to what Ronnie said,, I concur

      • 8. couragecampaign  |  July 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm

        All of us at Courage are honored to highlight the best of our movement and to build the national conversation. This trial provides the backdrop for that, but only together can we change the course of equality. Let’s let the judges see that ruling for equality is within, not without, the mainstream.


  • 9. Sagesse  |  July 18, 2010 at 10:55 am


    • 10. JonT  |  July 18, 2010 at 2:08 pm


  • 11. Sagesse  |  July 18, 2010 at 10:59 am

    There was a marriage equality pre-party in Providence on Friday

    60 people launch drive for same-sex marriage at R.I. State House

  • 12. Richard W. Fitch  |  July 18, 2010 at 11:13 am

    With Dustin Black and those like him, Harvey Milk will live on forever!!

  • 13. Tim  |  July 18, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Thank You Dustin and Frank! your courage is numbing!
    We are all very proud if you! Please be safe!
    Love Tim…
    @ Kirille hang tough my friend, we stand with you from afar! Side by side!

  • 14. Tim  |  July 18, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    subscribing, whats that all about? What ever it is I’m doing it. LOL

    • 15. Kathleen  |  July 18, 2010 at 3:52 pm

      Tim, By subscribing to a post, a copy of all the comments on that post will be sent to you by email. Unfortunately, the only way to do it is to make a comment and then check the appropriate box (below the Comment window) before submitting it.

      Sometimes I have nothing to add to the discussion when a post first goes up, so I just comment that I’m subscribing, check the “Notify” box and submit the comment.

  • 16. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  July 18, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    And how often here would it have been the pride parade participants who were beaten by the police, even in this day and age? Seems as though Warsaw is another city that is far ahead of the United States of America.

  • 17. Tim  |  July 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Thank You Kathleen!! I have never subscribed before and I’ve been on here since the beginning.
    I guess that is because I comment on each post and that in itself is subscribing. I get it LOL, Learn something new everyday…


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